Spikes Asia

adidas NEO Gymnastics x Just Dance

TBWA\BOLT SHANGHAI, Shanghai / ADIDAS / 2023

Awards:

2 Bronze Spikes Asia
1 Shortlisted Spikes Asia
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Students in China have a low daily uptake of sporting activity. Adidas NEO, a brand targeted at high school and college students wanted to engage more students to do sports. But doing sports is a luxury for Chinese students due to increasing academic pressure as they grow up. In their senior years in high school, PE classes are often "hijacked" by Math and English teachers, not to mention the extra homework over the weekends.

This casts a shadow on students adopting a healthy lifestyle as well the Adidas Neo brand and business.

With this challenge, the task was to encourage students to adopt a more active sports lifestyle enabled through Adidas NEO.

Idea

In China’s schoolyard, the morning broadcast gymnastics is a daily routine for students, but most of the time they muddle through it or skip it. This 71-year-old China school tradition sounds and feels like a 71-year-old, with old fashioned music and rigid moves. It’s no surprise that only 12.5% of high school students do sports daily. (Paixun Teenagers Health Index 2021).

Another “culprit” to sports participation is video games, the go-to student entertainment to cope with academic pressure. (QuestMobile Chinese Gaming Research 2021)

So we created a collision between the two; old-fashioned broadcast gymnastics and video gaming. We partnered with Just Dance, a popular dance video game to feature the school gymnastics routine in-game! We composed the song, designed unique game characters in dynamic school uniforms, remixed the traditional broadcast gymnastics beat and tempo, and launched it at the end of August, the back-to-school season.

Strategy

The target audience are students in high school and college (15 to 22 years old).

School broadcast gymnastics and videos games are things that Chinese students spend time on daily, so our strategy for partnership became clear: we partnered with Just Dance, the world's favorite dance video console game, turning video games and gymnastics -- these two real life occasions -- into a media opportunity to enable students to adopt a more active sports lifestyle.

Additionally, with China's TikTok and Adidas NEO stores as amplification platforms, we were able to bridge the virtual worlds of video gaming and social media, to the real world of broadcast gymnastics, into a combined and entertaining sports experience for the audience.

Execution

On Just Dance, we created the in-game track Youth is Calling with the new moves, unique characters in dynamic outfits, remixed soundtrack, and remodeled school setting, allowing students to move along with the upbeat rhythm and strive for the highest score.

To promote the collaboration, on China’s TikTok we created the hashtag challenge #youthiscalling and worked with 14 influencers. 4 episodes of student life-moments encouraged students to do the NEO dance with tailored stickers and filters. Offline, students could do the dance in-store to win gifts. For the first time, Just Dance went from the console into social media and in-store with a curated experience for the younger generation.

The game launched during the back-to-school season from 27th August to 6th September. The addictive soundtrack, gymnastics moves, TikTok challenge, and activation across 95 stores made it widely viewed and shared, and got our youthful audience moving.

Outcome

The campaign got students participating and increased in-store traffic by 8% and sales by 11% compared to the non-campaign period.

The track “Youth is Calling” reached No.1 branded and No.2 overall on the Just Dance China track list.

The campaign went viral beyond TikTok with 42 influencers across social platforms spontaneously sharing content including Bilibili (the biggest GEN Z community), Weibo and Red.

Views of branded and UGC videos passed 450M, with 8M likes and 1M comments across platforms.

News media with 51 posts achieved 5.2M RMB in PR value.

Popularity went beyond the game. People across ages danced along with consoles, on social platforms, in-store and beyond. Some schools even replaced the old gymnastics with ours.

As a brand that believes that sports can change lives, Adidas Neo successfully got people moving, making sports more mentally and physically appealing to Chinese student lifestyles.

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